Rev. Raphael Warnock arrested, released during Capitol protest


The Rev. Raphael G. Warnock  has been released after being arrested, along with other pastors, during a protest against the proposed budget and efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

A photo shows Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, being placed  in handcuffs by Capitol police.

Warnock’s spokeswoman said he and others were singing and praying in the rotunda Russell Senate Office building as they were arrested. He said his arrest “was a small price to pay” when he considers others who suffer.

She said he was held for three hours, booked, paid a fine and was released.

“As a pastor, I believe that the national budget is not just a fiscal document, but a moral document,” he said in a statement. “ It reflects what we believe and who we are for one another. And if this mean spirited budget were an EKG, it would indicate that America has a heart condition. The government is taking student aid, job training and medicine from those who need it most in order to give a tax cut to those who need it least. We came to Washington as voices of healing and justice. America is better than this. That's our message.”

Warnock and the Rev. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church were among a group of pastors who went to Washington to highlight the cuts in President Donald Trump's budget that would adversely affect black communities, including proposed decreases in funding for education and civil rights programs.

Likewise, Trump  proposed zeroing our federal support for legal aid, which the White House said would put more control in local hands.

“I have no doubt that even if the Republicans cannot repeal and replace (Obamacare), they will make every effort through the budget process to slash Medicare and leave millions without health care,” Hale said during a press conference in front of the Capitol. “ I stand here today with my sisters and brothers to remind Congress that we as a nation have a moral obligation to ensure that every American’s life and health are safeguarded and protected so in the words of the Prophet Micah, ‘justice might roll down like water and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”